Tag Archives: volunteering

Youth of past present and future

14 Aug

In this video, around 3.40mins a young person states ‘The youth aren’t the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today.’

Not only that, this video is full of further statements saying that governments should act for our future, groups of people getting together to shout, Chant, annoy and protest for there to be great change. Problem is, this video is from the Earth Summit 1992
19 years ago, the same actions and concerns of today were being acted out. In a depressive way, you could conclude that we have not moved a single foot towards a sustainable future.

Next year Earth Summit 2012 will take place, where issues of sustainable development will be discussed (again) and just like in the above video, expect young people to tell it straight, governments saying the time to act is now and large groups of people chanting and maybe holding hands…
This may sound like pre-defeatism, but from a point-blank view this is how it looks.
Not everyone hardly anyone knows how far we have come since 1992. Especially when thinking about youth involvement.


When governments noticed that young people are important, are the future and are the leaders of tomorrow – there was still a focus on adults teaching young people skills and knowledge or arranging events. Whether they were paid or voluntary, this emphasis on engaging, inspiring and motivating youth like we were at school lasted until quite recently.
In fact you could say it lasted until those youth of 92 who were involved in the Earth Summit and who understood that we are the leaders of today, grew up into official adults.

Here is the theory:
Youth of the early 90’s involved in sustainable development found themselves in their working adult lives taking up those positions of ‘teaching’ a younger generation to be motivated, engaged and inspired. They used their own tales for this purpose; believed in us being the leaders of today and told us to go out there and just do-it ourselves and BINGO! – what you have is an increase in youth involvement, with little adult involvement.
Of course, this is not shunning all adults, we still need you to teach us complicated things, give us opportunities and network contacts.

However now a youth who wants to volunteer and get involved has the ability to search the Internet and find people the same age, discussing the concerned issues on a local/national/global scale. These youth may of even set up there own organization growing in numbers and totally youth led, they may even gain opportunities to attend youth congress’s, powershift’s, or UN meetings.

The best thing about this though – Us youth of today will grow up and be the adults

who turn around to the next generation and say you are the leaders of today.
We did this, you can go on and do so much more –  a pyramid scheme of influence leading to more youth getting involved at an early age, pushing all the issues connected to and involving sustainable development into the forefront.

We are on the cusp of all youth really, truly being the voices of not only the future but today.

A free weekend of Fairtrade family fun.

16 May

Between May-August 2010 I was interning at Fairtrade Foundation, I was given the chance to blog about an event & blog I did. http://thefairtradefoundation.blogspot.com/2010/05/free-weekend-of-fairtrade-family-fun-by.html


It will be a lie to say that the weather was excellent for those three days of the festival. That the weather was fantastic and everyone was in T-shirts complaining about the heat.

In actually fact it was cold, windy and the sky looked like it had woken up on the wrong side of bed.

However being a happy bunch of Fairtrade staff and volunteers, we didn’t let this get us down. We drank coffee from the CaféDirect stall, had Fairtrade mulled wine from the bar (when we had finished our duties of course) and listened to the live music coming from the stage. We were there to promote Fairtrade as well as to celebrate Dubble’s 10th birthday – we were having a party.

The Fairtrade festival took place on Potters Fields on the South Bank of the Thames right beside Tower Bridge. As well as celebrating Dubble’s 10th birthday (in case you do not know it is an excellent Fairtrade chocolate bar- yum!) It was also to celebrate  World Fair Trade Day.  http://www.worldfairtradeday10.org

Stalls selling crafts, books, nuts, dried fruit, ice cream, beauty products and pants were all present; many of the stalls also had free samples. Though if you felt your kids should do something more active than just eat,  they could get their face painted, play some football, compete in the banana jousting, do some singing, drama and drumming workshops or just sit back and listen to the author Tom Palmer read from his book Foul Play. 

We cannot forget the live music upon the stage.  A wide variety of acts appeared – from samba to rock, hip-hop to folk. There was no reason for anyone not to dance to at least one genre of music over the three days. If you still did not feel like dancing then the banana people made sure you did!

What can be said about the Fairtrade festival is that it was fun, joyful, musical and cold – those working had high spirits, those that were there got stuck into the activities, whilst those that stumbled upon us on Potters Fields looked bewildered, then delighted, then amused by the variety of products and entertainment – not bad for a cold windy weekend.

Youth Food Movement

16 May

Does the following list tempt your taste buds?

  • Chocolate brownies, made with a hint of beetroot, to give a creamy sweet texture.
  • Sensual cheese that had a powerfully flavour making you nibble it like a addictive mouse.
  • Vodka distilled the old fashioned way, made with potatoes that give it a varied amount of sweet flavours and a peppery after taste
  • Raw wild oysters, that have earthy grassy tones with a dash of salt. And cooked oysters with a dash of lemon plus Tabasco sauce giving a spicy zing to your pallet.

Maybe I ate all this food in the wrong ‘meal’ order. – but each was just, a perfect statement to suggest that what appears in our main supermarkets is a little bit pants.

And maybe I didn’t learn the name of the cheese, or where the oysters came from – but I learnt oyster Martinis are a pure alcoholic orgasm.

                  oyster martini    DSC01283    oys

This is the Youth Food Movements doing. 

A UK wide, but international found organisation which is all about

fjhgfyoung farmers, cooks, artisans, activists and students actively changing the future of food and farming. Sharing the goal of bringing more food that is good, clean and fair to their communities. Plus the principles of justice and sustainability to local and regional food systems.

and there have just started the ball rolling in creating a London based network, to promote and create this different food future within the capital.

Thus explaining why I was able to spend a night feasting on the simply gorgeous delicacies listed above. As they arranged a launch night within the bowels of The People’s Supermarket , near Russell Square tube station.

It is a great idea to have a London hub – God knows, I still have to learn to cook more stuff then pasta and find more sustainable food then what could be in supermarkets.

I’m guessing many of you fellow London youth feel the same?

So allies like The Peoples Supermarket and the UK Youth Climate Coalition will join them in making London YFM develop and you can to, via:- signing up to their mailing list online, Facebook, Twitter (@YFMUK) and by joining them in future London meetings.

Lets all get out there and find good, clean, fair food and celebrate our future achievements with oyster Martini’s


A new weapon against lazy people

15 May

The other week, this article appeared within the London Metro

World’s oldest woman Antisa Khvichava turns 130:
Antisa Khvichava, a woman from a remote village in west Georgia, has turned 130, making her the oldest person in the world by 16 years, officials claimed.

Yes, this claim is suspect. Being born in 1880, losing her birth certificate and having a child at 60, who is now himself 70.

But what about the official oldest people in the world – Eugénie Blanchard (1896-) Walter Breuning (1896-) and the UK record holders Eunice Bowman (1898-) and Claude Choules(1901-)

What is the one thing they all have in common apart from being old, grey and wrinkly?

Whenever a journalist comes knocking on their door asking ‘why they have lived so long’ secretly hoping that they will state ‘oh, I’ve got the fountain of youth in my back garden’
The boring answer they actually receive is ‘I keep myself busy and working.’

Now, I have lived through the lazy teenage years, eating sweets and playing the latest GTA consistently. However I now find myself being uber busy, undertaking more opportunities and roles then physically possible, whilst also being addicted to twitter and chocolate digestives. With the added bonus of believing I’m fitter and healthy then ever!

So when my friends say ‘I cannot be bothered to recycle because it takes too much energy’ or ‘doing community work is pointless as I know one day I will move somewhere else’

Due to the presented evidence I can say something along the lines of –
If you recycle, if you do community work, if you do all the environmental and sustainable stuff that is, as evidence suggests good for the planet – you will keep yourself consistently busy and working hard just like Antisa Khvichava the oldest woman in the world has been doing for the last 130 years!

What is more persuasive then that? Living forever and annoying your great-great-great-great-great grandchildren. Due to helping save the planet,

So yes, this blog has just confirmed and given you further artillery in turning people and friends green.
Use it well.

Bonn climate change intersessional Pt 2

15 May

The youth within the Bonn climate change talks going on this week, are from a mixture of nations, UK, Nepal, Australia, German, French, Zimbabwe, Sweden, Denmark and others.
Many of them have also gone there out of choice and not getting paid for their efforts. (Including moi)

Thus if you were going to split this motley crew of climate campaigners into certain categories, you could go for the groups of –

Unaccredited: These youth turned up for the excitement, because they knew it was important and to check out the stuff going on in Bonn (talks, climate camp) which they could gain entry for.

Accredited: many of those from the UK were accredited via http://www.350.org, meaning they could enter certain UN talks and gain experience on what it was all about. Here’s a blog all about it – UK youth at UNFCCC

Young Friends of the Earth: Two people gained accreditation via the organisation that had 25 placements in all. Two out of 25, does not sound like much, but be assured that they were loud and passionate enough to kick up a good UN fuss.

UNFairplay: A group of youth were there to support smaller nations, who could not afford or have several negotiators at Bonn, giving them a bigger voice amongst those who actually are causing the most carbon emissions.

Adopt a negotiator: This scheme started of in Copenhagen, but gathered speed and lead to being part of YOUNGO– a youth movement that gained constituency status within these UNFCCC meetings. That we all then fell into.

But no matter if their gained entry to the conference or got paid for their efforts. What brought them all together was the aspect of action and making the negotiators discuss and act in making the low-carbon future we all would want and are aiming for.

All of these young people (or shall I say YOUNGO) met up daily to discuss what is going on and what actions can we take.
We talked to negotiators from around the world and mingled with those from Non-Government Organisations. We even had an international youth meeting to discuss goings-on globally, COP16 in Mexico and what we could do together as a collective.
But did we actually make any sodden difference whilst at Bonn? did the actions we take lead to anything?

UK Aware & the Climate Summit

14 May

On Friday 16th, my day was busy – so busy I only had 5 hours sleep! (I usually live the lifestyle of a cat and sleep constantly)

This is due to an international conference call I willing signed up to help and accidently partake in.  – More on this latter.

for now lets concentrate on the exhibition earlier in the afternoon.

UK Aware as it states within its blurb

‘is the UK’s only green and ethical lifestyle exhibition. Providing tips and hints for greener living, and products, services and inspiration which will help you live a more sustainable, greener lifestyle’

Sounds fantastic! i was drawn in automatically and signed up to attend on its first day (plus i got a discount – which also helped)

It took place at Olympia and had over 100 exhibitors (or as the Average Joe calls them – stalls )

Now I can be cynical and talk about how small it was and that they expected footfall of 15, 000 was way of the mark; but that’s not positive and it does not help within the movement that I and all these exhibitors care about – being sustainable and ethical, in a world being affected by climate change.

While I was there, I picked up loads of leaflets (don’t worry I will recycle them) some can be looked over by REN to benefit our projects and our borough’s local groups. Some are for my personal use for career purposes and the rest are going to be used to make my housemates more eco-conscious.

Here is a list, link & brief description on those you might find useful.

More Eco Directory full of green, ethical and organic retailers + you earn a % cash back on everything you buy.

See what you are buying into A labelling scheme for businesses that have to go under an evaluation to see if their social, environmental and ethical (SEE) practices are good for the world! 

Green Metropolis a bookstore, in which you sell an unwanted book for £3 or buy a book for £3.75, 5p of this is then donated to the Woodland Trust – a great idea that keeps books out of the recycling bin.

Ecover Started of making detergents and cleaning agents, this has then expanded into helping customers make the whole home eco-friendly as possible.

Appetite For Action I don’t know if this has been spread around schools, if parents have had to take letters of their kids explain the scheme; but what it is, is a educational website to help schools tackle sustainability issues via food – Yum!

Action Aid For those campaigners out there, Action Aid are involved in stopping tax dodging by multinational companies, the Robin Hood tax on bankers and making people create events in which there get to wear T-shirts stating ‘Say Bollocks to Poverty.’

The event was Held by Global Action Plan and it has been growing year-by-year. All it needs is more footfall – so watch out for it next year.

Now time for the other thing I was involved in.

The Climate Summit The premise is simple – have a live international video conference involving those involved with Climate change – whether its on a volunteer, religious, media, educational etc.. level.

I became involved in this due to my work with the UKYCC and it lead to me having phone calls at random points of the day from someone in Hawaii! My role was simple – to help those taking part in the conference within London, become settled and ready – problem was I really did not know what I was doing?

I was up till 2am finding out who might be turning up to this conference and finding out where it was meant to take place – worse of all when I turned up at the supposed location, they had never heard of this event even being booked??? Oh and as 6 people were meant to turn up but only  4 did- I then found myself trying to join in on conversations about religion and insurances policies concerning climate change.

The whole event was a shambles – but it was the first of its kind, the main guy in charge hopes one day to get heads of religion and government leaders involved to talk about climate – and I hope it Will happen one day.

The issue is, this debate thing – was kind of like Copenhagen Cop15. In that we had these speakers from around the world who raised they points of views on how religion can play a major role in reducing climate change and how insurance within the western world can be a major drawback on climate initiatives; but they did not suggesting on how to act. Myself and Anna Keenan another youth and a true campaigner, who went on hunger strike throughout Cop15 agreed on this factor and that they were not really interested in our views as being the generation who has to deal with climate change. (just like Cop15 again)

Here is a link to the 90 minute debate – I come in at about 9 minutes and only speak for 2 minutes – because, they are more interested in religion issues then youth. (oh and i wasn’t that great at speaking)


If you head to 60 minutes you get to hear Anna Keenan, who talks of global conscious, networking and the role of youth. In a realistic world this in turn could of led down a path of conversation figuring out religion and insurance polices relation to the younger generation creating something which then could started to be figured out.

Instead this great idea of getting great minds and people together just turned into a mild coffee shop chat.